Van Grow: Artist Plants Crop Art Masterpiece

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It takes a bird’s-eye view to best appreciate landscape artist Stan Herd’s 1.2-acre Crop Art replica of Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece “Olive Trees”.

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Kansas-based landscape artist Stan Herd may work slowly but when his artworks come to fruition, they do so in a big way… like 1.2 acres big in the case of his latest triumph: a much larger than life replica of Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece “Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun”. The original was one of 18 oil paintings of olive orchards completed by Van Gogh in the last year of his life. Herd, a life-long admirer of Van Gogh, was commissioned to recreate the painting by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, coincidentally the place where the original is currently displayed.

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Herd announced the completion of the outsized artwork on September 11th of 2015 following six long months of intensive preparation while the many botanical components of the work achieved maturity. Like related works of Rice Field Art in rural Japan, Herd’s reverent masterpiece is best viewed from high in the clear Minnesota sky.

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Conveniently, the artistic field underlies one of the flight paths going in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. “When you’re on ground level you can’t tell what the cuts even look like, but when you get up there you can see the patterns,” explained Rick King, board member of the Minneapolis Museum and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “If you’re landing from the southeast and flying northwest, it will be on your left-hand side as you approach the airport.” And you thought flying over “flyover states” was boring!

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